6 Must-See Executive Orders Passed by Trump in 2017

By Shanique Wright on April 10, 2017

1. Executive Order Protecting The Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into The United States

On January 27, 2017, President Donald Trump issued Executive Order 13769 staged to protect its citizens from terrorist attacks, including those committed by foreign nationals. The act was implemented to improve the screening and vetting protocols and procedures associated with the visa issuance process and the United States Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP).

The process will assist the government in detecting foreign nationals who may commit, aid, or support acts of terrorism and in preventing those individuals from entering the United States. This order led to the suspension of entry of certain aliens from seven countries, namely Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Iran, Iraq, and Yemen for 90 days (excluding those foreign nationals traveling on diplomatic visas, North Atlantic Treaty Organization visas, C-2 visas for travel to the United Nations, and G-1, G-2, G-3, and G-4 visas).


Specifically, the act referred to countries that caused or presented heightened concerns about terrorism and travel to the United States by the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Director of National Intelligence. The ban applies whether the presence of an alien in the country or area increases the likelihood that the alien is a credible threat to the national security of the United States, whether a foreign terrorist organization has a significant presence in the country or area, or whether the country or area is a safe haven for terrorists.


According to the government, Executive Order 13769 did not provide a basis for discriminating for or against members of any particular religion. While that order allowed for prioritization of refugee claims from members of persecuted religious minority groups, that priority applied to refugees from every nation, including those in which Islam is a minority religion, and it applied to minority sects within a religion.

That order was not motivated by animus toward any religion but was instead intended to protect the ability of religious minorities — whoever they are and wherever they reside — to avail themselves of the USRAP in light of their particular challenges and circumstances. The government reveals that these countries have been identified as state sponsors of terrorism compromised by terrorist organizations and have conflict zones. In other cases, nationals are reluctant to issue or deal travel documents.


Historically black colleges and universities have contributed immensely to the general welfare and prosperity of the United States. Since established by visionary leaders, America’s historically black universities have, for over 150 years, produced many of the Nation’s leaders in academia, business, government, and the military, and have helped create a black middle class. These institutions are the engines of economic growth and public service and have acted as ladders of intergenerational advancement.


The Initiative was set to have two primary missions. First, by increasing the private-sector role and the role of private foundations. This will help in strengthening Historically Black Colleges and Universities through enhanced institutional planning and infrastructure development, fiscal stability, and financial management.

Partnership with elementary and secondary stakeholders to build a “cradle-to-college” pipeline for young African American students is also a main priority of the initiative. The White House Initiative is expected to exercise the full potential of African Americans while creating equitable opportunities in higher education. Opportunities will be provided for students to be more engaged in federal programs, with private sector employees, with philanthropic organizations, and with additional education public-private partners to enhance the empowerment of the minority group.


The policy was established to protect U.S. citizens from foreign nationals who intend to commit terrorist attacks in the United States, and to prevent the admission of foreign nationals who intend to exploit United States immigration laws for malevolent purposes and oppress Americans of any race, gender or sexual orientation.

The Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Director of National Intelligence, has reviewed all claims to ensure that individuals who apply are not a security or safety threat before given admittance. The Secretary of State has suspended the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) for 120 days.


During the 120-day period, the Secretary of State, in conjunction with the Secretary of Homeland Security and in consultation with the Director of National Intelligence, will review the USRAP application and adjudication process to determine what additional procedures should be taken to ensure that those approved for refugee admission does not pose a threat to the security and welfare of the United States.

Refugee claims must be made by individuals on the basis of religious based persecution (provided that the religion of the individual is a minority in their country of nationality are prioritized). These changes were made to ensure that admission of Syrian refugees is consistent with the national interest. The entry of more than 50,000 refugees in fiscal year 2017 is claimed to be detrimental to the interests of the United States and currently, all entry has been suspended until the security of State gives an estimated value of the future costs of USRAP.

4. Executive Order: Valid Visa Reciprocity

The visa issuance process plays a crucial role in detecting individuals with terrorist ties and stopping them from entering the United States and while the visa issuance process was reviewed and amended after the September 11 attacks to better detect “potential” terrorists from receiving visas, these measures did not stop attacks by foreign nationals who were admitted to the United States.

Based on the Visa Validity Reciprocity, the Secretary of State has additionally reviewed nonimmigrant visa reciprocity agreements. If a country does not treat the United States nationals seeking nonimmigrant visas in a reciprocal manner, the Secretary of State will adjust the visa validity period, fee schedule, or other treatment to match the treatment of United States nationals by the foreign country, to the extent practicable.

5. Executive Order: Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements

Illegal Aliens who enter the United States without inspection or admission present are labeled as a significant threat to national security and public safety as well as imposing a strain on federal resources and agencies charged with border security and immigration enforcement. The purpose of this order is to direct executive departments and agencies to deploy all lawful means to secure the nation’s southern border, to prevent further illegal entry into the United States using an apprehensive framework.

In accordance with existing laws, inclusive of the Secure Fence Act and IIRIRA, the act will secure the southern border of the United States through the immediate construction of a physical wall, monitored and supported by adequate personnel so as to prevent illegal immigration, drug and human trafficking, and acts of terrorism.


Cases concerning detained individuals apprehended on suspicion of violating Federal or State law, including Federal immigration law, pending further eligibility proceedings regarding those violations will be expedited. The Secretary shall issue new policy guidance to all Department of Homeland Security personnel regarding humane and lawful detention authority under the INA and that unaccompanied alien children are properly processed, receive appropriate care and placement while in custody or when appropriate and are safely repatriated in accordance with law.

Individuals whose legal claims to remain in the United States have been lawfully rejected after any appropriate civil or criminal sanctions have been imposed, will be detained and removed effectively under Federal state immigration laws, terminating the practice commonly referred to as, “catch and release.”

How will this be achieved?

The Security of State will develop long-term funding requirements for the wall such as comprehensive geophysical and topographical and congressional budget requests for the current and upcoming fiscal years and federal state resources necessary to achieve complete operational control of the southern border. Additionally, the Secretary, through the Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, will hire 5,000 additional Border Patrol agents assigned to duty stations as soon as is practicable.

6. Executive Order Minimizing the Economic Burden of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

The government has promptly repealed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Public Law 111-148), encouraging executive branch to ensure that the law is being efficiently implemented by minimizing the unwarranted economic and regulatory burdens of the Act, and prepare to afford the states more flexibility and control to create a more free and open healthcare market.

The head of each department or agency with responsibilities relating to healthcare or health insurance is set to encourage the development of a free and open market in interstate commerce for the offering of healthcare services and health insurance, with the goal of achieving and preserving maximum options for patients and consumers.


The Secretary of Health and Human Services and the heads of all other executive departments and agencies with authorities and responsibilities under the Act will waive, defer, grant exemptions from, or delay the implementation of any provision or requirement of the Act that would impose a fiscal burden on any state or a cost, fee, tax, penalty, or regulatory burden on individuals, families, healthcare providers, health insurers, patients, recipients of healthcare services, purchasers of health insurance, or makers of medical devices, products, or medications.

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